Climate is a critical driver of aquatic ecosystems and fish populations, strongly influencing latitudinal, seasonal, and depth distribution and abundance of marine and inland fishes through survival, growth, reproduction, and interactions with habitat and other species (Perry et al. 2005; Pörtner et al. 2014; Lynch et al. 2016). Climate variability has been linked with fish production variability with high levels of confidence in both marine and freshwater systems (e.g., Mantua et al. 1997; Chavez et al. 2003; Lynch et al. 2015).
Unlike climate variability, climate change is shifting the baseline. Global land and ocean surface temperatures show an average increase of 0.85 °C from 1880 to 2012; since the beginning of the industrial era, oceans have increased in acidity by 26%; and between 1901 and 2010, global mean sea level has risen by 0.19 m (IPCC 2014). For both marine and inland systems, climate change related shifts in thermal, chemical, and physical habitat will continue to alter fish populations and productivity of capture fisheries (Ficke et al. 2007; Pörtner and Peck 2010; Gattuso et al. 2015; Whitney et al. 2016). In some cases, the fisheries will have the potential to expand; some will likely diminish; and yet others will remain stable but shift location (Parmesan 2006; Rahel et al. 2008; Cheung et al. 2016).